ASHFORD, CT (WFSB) -- It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a handful of students from Ashford School on Monday.

They got a chance to have a chat with an astronaut live from the International Space Station.

As the International Space Station (ISS) floated above Ashford, 254 miles above earth. it made a brief window for students to make contact using this ham radio.

Some of the questions asked on Monday? -- “Do you wear sunscreen on the international space station? What is the strangest thing you have ever seen in space? What food is the most fun or messy to eat in space? What inspired you to become an astronaut?”

Astronaut Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor fielded the pre-written questions. She joined NASA as a flight surgeon in 2006 and launched for the ISS this past June.

“A lot of my teachers that I had all of the way throughout my school, junior high school and college really encouraged me to become an astronaut as well as my family,” Aunon-Chancellor said.

Ashford school teachers worked over a year on applying for and setting up the conversation.

“Our kids are so inspired by space. They refer to themselves as the ‘Mars generation’ because they are probably going to be the right age to actually colonize Mars and work for NASA when they grow up. So we have been doing a lot of different space programs over the last few years,” said science teacher Carly Imhoff.

The American Radio Relay League, which is headquartered in Newington, provided the equipment.

“We hope, as NASA’s hope, is that it will inspire them to become the engineers that we need,” said Joe Carcia.

Eastern Connecticut’s Amateur Radio Association helped make contact.

“There have been several attempts at making contact but it just hasn’t worked out. But I’m glad it worked out today,” said Bernard Dubb, of Eastern Connecticut’s Amateur Radio Association.

The space station is going around 17,000 miles per hour so they setup a high-powered antenna out by the playground.

“It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say I talked to an astronaut again,” said Abby Robinson, who is in eighth grade.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.